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Brewing Glögg – The Scandinavian Mulled Wine Drink

Brewing Glögg - The Scandinavian Mulled Wine Drink

Winter is here and there’s no better time to brew up a batch of Glögg. This mulled wine drink is native to Nordic countries and perfect for sipping by the fire on those long, snowy winter evenings.

Glögg is a hot, spiced, red wine drink. Mulled wines are popular in Europe and this version should not be confused with gluhwein – each region’s version of mulled wine has something unique about it. Glögg uses port, can include infused spirits like vodka or bitters, and has more of an orange flavor. It is far less fruit-filled and instead relies on almonds and raisins for its unique flavor. You can learn to make Glögg at home, easily, and impress your guests with your Nordic take on holiday drinks.

The Basics

As always, we at winedom.com suggest that you learn the basic recipe and then make it your own by enhancing your favorite flavors. Please post in the comments, or on our facebook page, your favorite variations.

Wine

Go for a burgundy or pinot noir as the base for your Glögg. You will also need port for this drink.

Spice

Traditional Glögguses cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.

Fruit

Glögg is much lighter on fruit, using only orange zest and raisins. While not a fruit, you will also need blanched almonds to make a traditional Glögg.

Sweetener

Despite the port, you’ll want to make sure to sweeten your Glögg with white sugar.

Brandy

If you have aquavit on hand, that should be your first choice. Otherwise vodka or brandy can be used. Once you start experimenting consider infused vodka – especially one with currant (blackcurrant drink is used to make non-alcoholic Glögg in Nordic countries).

Some Extras

Glögg is traditionally served with ginger cookies but other sweets like sticky buns, sweet breads and almond cookies make a perfect pairing, too. Garnish with raisins, almonds and a cinnamon stick to complement your drink.

The Formula

Here is a basic breakdown of ingredients followed by step by step instructions for making a delicious, simple, starter Glögg.

ComponentAmount
Wine2 bottles
Cloves25 whole
Cinnamon Sticks2 oz (halved)
Cardamom
(crushed by hand)
20 whole seeds
Sugar2 cups
Brandy2 cups and 5 fluid oz
Water2 cups
Orange Zest2 oz
Almonds1 pound
Raisins1 pound

Tools

  • Large pot
  • Cheesecloth
  • Cooking twine

Process

  1. Cover the raisins in 2 cups brandy and allow to sit for 30 minutes (at least) before moving to step 2.
  2. In a large pot, over high heat, stir the sugar and water until sugar is completely dissolved. Be very careful not to allow the mixture to boil or it will thicken and start to brown. When it cools it could solidify and ruin your Glögg.
  3. Make a bundle of spices with your cheesecloth.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and add spice bundle and orange zest, stirring regularly. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  5. Strain the raisins and add them, the brandy (5 fluid oz, discard the soaking brandy), and wine to the pot. Warm up, adjust spices to taste. Add the almonds prior to serving.

Glögg can be kept out overnight at room temperature on the stove and reheated the next day. To add a nice touch, consider steeping a freshly cut piece of ginger during step 2. And don’t forget – never boil drinks like this when preparing them; it burns off the alcohol. Enjoy!

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